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Mathematics is one of the most important subject in WAEC, they do not handle it with levity hands. It’s one of the subjects that determines whether you are going to re-sit or not, because anything lesser than C6 may render the result useless. That is why you have to pay much attention to the subject by avoiding some mistakes I will discuss in this article.
To pass mathematics you have to work on your accuracy and time management. To be frank, the time to start practicing is now!
I will urge you to read this article painstakingly and ensure you read to the end. Come to think of it, how do you intend to pass a subject when you are lazy to read an article less than a thousand word.
Without much fuss or delay, let’s move to the first and cogent point of making an ‘A’ in Mathematics.
The graph is very important not only in mathematics but any subject you are required to draw one. Be it physics ,economics etc. It’s unavoidable in mathematics. It carries a lot of Mark when it appears in practicals.
Though, drawing a graph might appear simple but there are lots of guidelines that must be followed to achieve a better result viz;
#1 Do not use a pen throughout the graph –
It’s customary to see student use pen to do some calculations on the graph sheet, for reasons like “I want to make it clearer”. For goodness sake! Please avoid using a pen to calculate on the graph sheet. Every writings on that sheet should be with a pencil only.
#2 Write the title of the graph – the title of the graph should be boldly written with a pencil at the top of the graph. Why? , sometimes you might be required to draw more than one graph, this is a way to show the graph you worked on to your examiner besides, this carry extra marks as stated by WAEC that clarity attracts more mark.
#3 Label your axis – ensure you label your graph axis with the right variable. For example, quadratic graph. A quadratic equation of the form y = Ax² + Bx + C. It is crucial to note that the graph will have two axis ‘x’ and ‘y’. Y on the horizontal and X at the vertical. Take note that when drawing a graph in other subject ,there is a slight change in how you draw your graph. For example a quadratic graph in physics of the form s = ut + ½at² where s is distance in m, t is in seconds. If you are asked to plot this kind of graph , ensure you put the units alongside the variable when labeling I.e your vertical axis label will be s(m) and horizontal axis label will be t(s) not just the common x and y for all graph.
#4 Label your line – this is one of the things examiners check. Your lines should be labeled accurately. Don’t just draw a line and assume that they will take their time to decipher what it means. You are on your own ooo!
#5 Avoid shading and erasing too much – except you are asked to draw a graph in Fine Art exam (which is not possible) , my dear avoid shading your paper it’s does not make it more obvious. Erasing too much on the other hand makes graph rough and dirty.
#6 Drawing straight lines and curve –
Come to the exam hall with a long ruler, it is not advisable to draw a graph with the short ruler provided by WAEC in their mathematical set. When you draw a line with a short ruler it might not reach all the points at once, then you will be forced to take off your ruler to draw another line to join the previous one. This results in bending of lines and sometimes double line.
Quadratic graph is a parabola (curve), most student use brooms, freehand and all sorts of crude method to draw the curve. It is advisable to use a French curve or a German curve to draw them. However, French curve is very cheap (#250 or less) and you can get it easily at bookshops.
#7 Neatness – this is very important, appearance matters a lot in life. The same applies to your graph. Make it appealing, nobody will cross a neat graph!
All Sections Matters:
It’s common to see students pay more attention to theory aspects. I have a friend that only treats the objective (multiple choice) part when the invigilator announce that they have ten minutes more. This time, they start ticking rubbish in their OMR sheet with the mind that “objective does not matter”.
If you are aiming the best, always treat all sections seriously.
If I am able to get 50 comments and like on this post. In my next article, I’ll discuss the tricks and shortcuts (including calculator tricks) you can use to answer mathematics questions (Different topics will be treated) so that you can save more time. Remember, no one needs your working in obj.
Like I said earlier, appearance really matter. Work on your handwriting and how you present your work because no one will call you to ask what you wrote on page 4 of your answer booklet. Your ink speaks for you then.
The following tips will help you on how to present your work;
#1 All your answer should be in ink(except graph). WAEC recommends black pen.
#2 Cross out wrong workings completely, you should do this carefully to avoid painting your answer sheet
#3 Answer each questions on a fresh page. Stop helping WAEC to manage the answer booklet, you already paid for it!
#4 Do not write or do any workings at the margins. Some students enjoy writing numbers and working on the margin. Don’t do that, you will be penalized.
#5 Do not skip any mathematical step. Also, avoid shortcuts in the theory section.
Study Smart Not Hard :
Study smart is quite different from study hard. A smart student is updated and knows what to study rather than wasting time on erroneous topics.
A good way to know what to study is to refer to the official WAEC brochure, another is to check the past question for repeated topics. If you are lucky to attend a good school this wouldn’t be a problem as what you are being taught right from time will be in line with the brochure.
I’m not here to teach you any abacradabra you can use to score A1 in mathematics and I am not a motivational speaker! The best tip to perform very well in any exam is to study smart.
Don’t forget the G factor :
Learn to commit your ways to the hand of God, success does not come without God .
I like to tell my students this ” Work and Pray”.
Study as if you never prayed, and pray as if you never studied.
I with you success in your exam!